Jacques Hnizdovsky

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Jacques Hnizdovsky
Hnizdovsky wc 87.jpg
Jacques Hnizdovsky carving the woodblock "Two Rams" in his studio in New York, 1969
Jakiw Hnizdowskyj

January 27, 1915 (1915-01-27)
Pylypcze, Borshchiv Raion, Ternopil Oblast, Ukraine
Died November 8, 1985 (1985-11-09) (aged 70)
New York, USA
Nationality American
Education Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw; Academy of Fine Arts, Zagreb
Known for painting, printmaking, watercolor, ceramics, graphic design, bookplate design, book illustration, book cover design, lettering design
Notable work
www.hnizdovsky.com www.jacqueshnizdovsky.com
Movement stylized realism

Jacques Hnizdovsky (Ukrainian: Яків Гніздовський, Polish: Jakób Gniazdowski, Croatian: Jakiv Hnizdovskij), (1915–1985) was a Ukrainian-born American painter, printmaker, graphic designer, illustrator and sculptor.


Jacques Hnizdovsky was born on January 27, 1915 in Ukraine in the Borshchivskyi Raion of Ternopil Oblast to a noble family bearing the Korab coat of arms. He was the youngest of seven children and the only member of his family that was able to emigrate to the west.

He began his fine arts studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Germany's invasion of Poland and bombardment of Warsaw forced Jacques to flee Warsaw and continue his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. He was classically trained and had a great interest in portraiture, but Hnizdovsky was entirely self-taught in the art of printmaking.

Hnizdovsky created hundreds of paintings, pen and ink drawings and watercolors, as well as over 377 woodcuts, etchings and linocuts after his move to the United States in 1949. He was greatly inspired by woodblock printing in Japan as well as the woodcuts of Albrecht Dürer. Influences on his early works can be seen on his website.[1]

Hnizdovsky printed all his woodcuts and linocuts himself at his home studio. Woodcuts and linocuts were printed on washi, which is erroneously translated as "rice paper"[2]

Hnizdovsky's prints frequently depict flora and fauna, and there are several reasons for him largely shifting his focus from the human form. His first few years in the United States were marred by financial difficulties, language difficulties and a creative crisis. But what at first were merely substitutes for the human form. later became his most cherished subjects. He was well known in all the botanical and zoological gardens in New York, where he would find subjects willing to pose at no cost. At the Bronx Zoo, he found many models that were willing to pose "for peanuts". Andy, the orangutan, who opened the Ape House of the Bronx Zoo when he was just a baby, was one of Hnizdovsky's favorite models.[3] When Andy died, the Bronx Zoo immediately purchased the Hnizdovsky woodcut in remembrance of Andy. Another favorite Bronx Zoo model was the sheep. Hnizdovsky's The Sheep would become his best known print, illustrating the poster for his very successful exhibition at the Lumley Cazalet Gallery in London. This poster, incidentally, can be seen in the kitchen scene of the film The Hours.

Hnizdovsky has exhibited widely and his works are in the permanent collections of many museums worldwide. The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has a large collection of his prints, as does the University of Mount Olive in North Carolina, which presumably has the largest collection of Hnizdovsky prints worldwide.

Hnizdovsky designed numerous book covers and illustrated many books. He also designed several stamps and a souvenir sheet for the Ukrainian Plast postal service (issued in 1954 and 1961).

Jacques Hnizdovsky died on November 8, 1985 in Bronxville, New York, and is buried at the Lychakivskiy Cemetery in Lviv, Ukraine. His archives are housed at the Slavic and Baltic Division of the New York Public Library.[4]

Books illustrating the work of Jacques Hnizdovsky

  • Tahir, Abe M. Jr (1987). Jacques Hnizdovsky Woodcuts and Etchings. Pelican Publishing Co. ISBN 0-88289-487-0.
Shows all prints created during the artist's lifetime, a catalogue raisonné, profusely illustrated with images.
Shows prints created between 1944-1975, a catalogue raisonné, profusely illustrated with images.
  • Hnizdovsky, Jacques (1986). Jacques Hnizdovsky Ex Libris. S. Hnizdovsky. ASIN B0007BYZ94
Shows 54 Ex Libris designs that the artist created for family, collectors, museums and libraries.


Hnizdovsky carving an ex libris (bookplate)

A partial list of books illustrated by Jacques Hnizdovsky.[5]

  • The Poems of John Keats, 1964
  • Ukrainian Folk Tales, 1964
  • The Auk, the Dodo, and the Oryx, 1967
  • The Poems of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1967
  • Tree Trails of Central Park, 1971
  • Flora Exotica, 1972
  • The Poems of Thomas Hardy, 1979
  • The Traveler’s Tree, 1980
  • The Poetry of Robert Frost, 1981
  • Signum Et Verbum, 1981
  • A Green Place, 1982
  • The Violin of Monsieur Ingres, 1983
  • Jacques Hnizdovsky Ex Libris, 1986
  • Birds and Beasts, 1990
  • Behind the King’s Kitchen, 1992
  • The Girl in Glass, 2002
  • The Adventurous Gardener, 2005

Public collections

Among the public collections holding works by Jacques Hnizdovsky are:[6]

  • Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover MA
  • Borshchiv Regional Museum, Borshchiv, Ukraine
  • Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby BC
  • Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown OH
  • Chrysler Museum at Norfolk VA
  • Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland OH
  • Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University, Middletown CT
  • Duke University Museum of Art, Durham NC
  • Dulin Gallery of Art, Knoxville TN
  • Hunts Institute for Botanical Documentation, Pittsburgh PA
  • Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle WA
  • Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, Laurel MS
  • Library of Congress, Washington DC
  • Louisiana Arts and Science Center, Baton Rouge LA
  • Louisiana State Museum, New Orleans LA
  • Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis MN
  • Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson MS
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA
  • National Collection of Fine Arts, Washington DC
  • National Museum of Lviv, Ukraine
  • National Museum of Ukrainian Fine Arts, Kyiv, Ukraine
  • New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans LA
  • New York Public Library, New York NY
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia PA
  • Temopil Regional Museum, Ternopil, Ukraine
  • Tweed Museum of Art University of Minnesota, Duluth MN
  • Ukrainian Canadian Art Foundation, Toronto, ON
  • Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago IL
  • The Ukrainian Museum, New York NY
  • The Ukrainian Museum-Archives, Cleveland, OH
  • University of Delaware, Newark DE
  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis MN
  • University of Mount Olive, Mount Olive NC
  • United States Information Agency, Washington DC
  • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond VA
  • The White House, Washington DC
  • Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg MB
  • Yale University, New Haven CT


  • Associated American Artists, 1959, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1979, 1982, 1983
  • Ben and Beatrice Goldstein Foundation, 1973
  • Boston Museum of Fine Arts, 1961
  • Boston Printmakers, 1962
  • Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University, 1969
  • Henry Ward Ranger Award, National Academy of Design, 1963
  • International Graphic Arts Society, 1964, 1969, 1970
  • MacDowell Colony Fellowship, 1963, 1971, 1976
  • Minneapolis Institute of Art, 1950
  • Ossabaw Foundation, 1980
  • Salmagundi Club Award, Audubon Artists Annual, 1975, 1982
  • Tiffany Foundation Fellowship, 1961
  • Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellowship, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984
  • Yaddo Fellowship, 1978, 1979

One-Man Shows


  • Associated American Artists, New York NY, 1971, 1979, 1986
  • Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx NY, 1971, 1981
  • Burnaby Art Gallery, Vancouver BC, 1985
  • Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown OH, 1962
  • Chapman Gallery, Canberra, Australia. 1982
  • Chrysler Museum at Norfolk VA, 1967, 1968
  • Creuze Gallery, Paris, 1957
  • Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University, Middletown CT 1970
  • Eggleston Gallery, New York NY 1954, 1958
  • Emilie Walter Galleries, Vancouver BC, 1973
  • Hermitage Museum and Gardens, Norfolk VA, 1981
  • International Institute of Minnesota, Saint Paul MN, 1972
  • Jane Haslem Gallery, Washington DC, 1982, 1984
  • La Maison Francaise, NYU, New York NY, 1960
  • Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach CA, 1977
  • Lumley Cazalet Gallery, London, England, 1969, 1972, 1982
  • Lviv Museum of Ukrainian Art, Lviv, Ukraine, 1990
  • National Museum of Ukrainian Fine Arts, Kyiv, Ukraine, 1990
  • Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia PA1961
  • Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, 1970
  • Roberson Center for the Arts and Sciences, Binghamton, NY, 1974
  • Salpeter Gallery, New York NY, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964
  • Sweet Briar College, Sweet Briar VA, 1984
  • Tahir Gallery, New Orleans, 1967, 1971, 1974, 1976
  • Ternopil Natural History Museum, Temopil, Ukraine, 1990
  • Troup Gallery, Dallas TX, 1966, 1971
  • Tryon Fine Art Center, Tryon NC, 1974
  • Ukrainian Canadian Art Foundation, Toronto, ON, 1983, 1985
  • Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago IL, 1978, 1985
  • University of Mount Olive, NC, 1972, 1984
  • University of Virginia, Charlottesville VA, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1986
  • Van Straaten Gallery, Chicago IL, 1971 (currently Denver CO)
  • Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Sweet Briar VA, 1979, 1981
  • Westwood Gallery, Westwood, MA, 1973
  • Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg MB, 1973
  • Yale University, New Haven CT, 1977

Traveling One-Man Shows

  • Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby BC, 1985-1986
  • Fendrick Gallery, Washington DC, 1987
  • United States Information Service, Kyiv, 1995-1996
  • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond VA, 1987-1992
  • Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg MB, 1973

Group exhibitions

  • Audubon Artists, 1975
  • Boston Printmakers, 1962
  • National Academy of Design, 1963, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1980
  • Pratt Graphic Center, 1975-1985
  • Society of American Graphic Artists, 1965-1985
  • Triennale Internazionale della Xilografia, 1972
  • Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan, 1983, 1985
  • US Information Agencies in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa, 1963, 1965, 1967, 1968


  1. ^ Reflections of an Artist Archived 2014-09-13 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ In fact, rice paper is made from paper mulberry, also known as broussonetia papyrifera. Please see the following link Archived 2008-09-15 at the Wayback Machine for more information on the production of this beautiful handmade paper, which is likened to raw silk because of its texture and the tiny specks of raw plant fibers embedded in the paper.
  3. ^ Andy the orangutan
  4. ^ Slavic and Baltic Division, NYPL
  5. ^ For a full list of American and Ukrainian books illustrated by Jacques Hnizdovsky, please contact the Slavic and Baltic Division of the New York Public Library, which houses the entire collection.
  6. ^ Jacques Hnizdovsky Яків Гніздовський published by the Ukrainian Museum on the occasion of the exhibition Jacques Hnizdovsky 1915-1985, Retrospective Exhibition December 10, 1995 - March 3, 1996
  7. ^ Jacques Hnizdovsky Яків Гніздовський published by the Ukrainian Museum on the occasion of the exhibition Jacques Hnizdovsky 1915-1985, Retrospective Exhibition December 10, 1995 - March 3, 1996

Further reading

  • Leshko, Jaroslaw (1995). Jacques Hnizdovsky Яків Гніздовський.
Published by The Ukrainian Museum on the occasion of the exhibition Jacques Hnizdovsky 1915-1985: Retrospective Exhibition, organized by The Ukrainian Museum, New York. Profusely illustrated bilingual exhibition catalogue containing 23 pages of biographical text, showing examples of paintings, woodcuts, linocuts, etchings and ceramics by the artist.

External links

  • Jacques Hnizdovsky - Official Site
  • Jacques Hnizdovsky Archives
  • MFA Collections Database of Hnizdovsky Prints
  • The Jacques Hnizdovsky Collection at the University of Mount Olive
  • Artnet
  • AskArt
  • Interview with Yakiv (Jacques) Hnizdovsky (Яків Гніздовський) Conducted by Ulana Pawuszczak on YouTube
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